The Collegian
Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Response: "A living embryo..."

Brendan Rhatican recently wrote an interesting opinion piece on the rights of an unborn child to life. Unfortunately, his piece is so ridden with ambiguity, assumptions and hypotheticals that it would be nearly impossible to fully respond to each point in a lifetime with an absolute truth.

I'll start with what I know best.

Brendan said, "The embryo is human because moments after fertilization it already has a sex." Firstly, this is not the defining characteristic of an organism within a species. Otherwise banana slugs and earthworms would forever be in limbo about their species.

Generally, species are defined as an animal's ability or potential ability to reproduce with another animal with a viable offspring. Many exceptions are made because otherwise any sterile animal might be deemed species-less, for example.

The usual standard that Americans seem to use to rate the worth of a human life is to determine whether the human is American, straight and without a hoodie.

Brendan stated, "all living human beings deserve certain inalienable rights - including the right to life." I completely agree. In fact this was taken into account when considering when abortions should be considered universally legal. The first trimester is when an abortion is safer than the eventual childbirth.

So, a woman should be able to decide while she still can whether she'd like to try the odds on childbirth. Funnily enough, the rights of the physician were more important here...they have a legal obligation to preserve life. These are just the barest of explanations.

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